Shinji Higashijima, FINA Press Correspondent in Japan

The swimming season is at its height with the European Championships just ended in Budapest, the Pan Pacific Championships taking place in Irvine (Cal., USA) on August 18-22, 2010, and the Junior Pan Pacific Championships to be held on the island of Maui (Hi., USA) from August 26-30, 2010.Japan sent a big team to both Irvine and Maui, including Olympic breaststroke champion Kosuke Kitajima, world 100m backstroke champion Junya Koga, Ryo Irie, Ryo Takeishi, Shiho Sakai, Aya Terakawa, Rie Kaneto, Risa Sekine just to name some.

Moreover, all Japan’s high-school swimming teams, water polo players and divers are getting ready to compete at the up-coming high-school championships to be held on August 17-20, 2010, in Okinawa (JPN). There is also a junior high-school championship for swimming and diving starting August 21-23, 2010, in Hiroshima (JPN). The high-school championships will be held in an outdoor 50-meter pool, featuring ten lanes. Water temperature is expected to be around 34-36 Celsius degrees. Competitors and coaches know hot days are coming and prepare to face both stormy and hot weather.

More aquatics news: Japan Diving Nationals were held on August 7-10, 2010, at the Tokyo-Tatsumi International Swimming Complex (T-TISC). Mai Nakagawa and Sho Sakai were the winners in both the 3m springboard and 10m platform, in the women’s field and men’s field respectively. On the lower board, one-meter, Sayaka Shibusawa took the gold among women and Yu Okamoto among men.

The Japan Synchro Challenge Cup 2010 was held successfully at the T-TISC on August 13-15, 2010, the aim of which is to reveal new talented synchro swimmers. A hopeful youth team was announced at the end of competition.

Upcoming at the end of the month are the Junior Olympic Cup Championships, which will take place at the T-TISC on August 27-30, 2010. This is one of the biggest aquatics events in Japan, comparable to the country’s Masters Swimming nationals.